The Climate Action Network (CAN) Africa and CAN Arab World have written a letter to the African Group of Negotiators (AGN) outlining reflections on COP26 and the priorities we wanted to be seen in the African COP in Sharm El Sheikh later this year.
It is reported that Africa is the continent least responsible for the climate crisis and the one most vulnerable to its impacts.
In the letter, it is said that the COP coming to African soil gives a unique opportunity to foreground the most important issues the continent is facing and provides real climate leadership to the rest of the world.
Reflection on COP26
It is reported in the letter that the Glasgow pact decisions fall far short of what is needed, particularly with respect to equity and the correct reflection of the principle of common but differentiated responsibility.
It is said that the Paris Agreement put the obligation on developed countries to do more on mitigation compared to developing countries, reflecting both their historical responsibility and higher capacity to act.
The network says that however, rather than committing to phasing out fossil fuels and genuine decarbonisation of their economies, developed countries made ambiguous pledges of 2050 net zero targets, relying chiefly on carbon offsets and carbon trading.
These mechanisms seek to maintain the status quo while engaging in a new marketisation of nature, rather than making genuine efforts for systemic change and decarbonisation.
It is added that while COP26 focused most of its attention on mitigation, climate impacts (adaptation and loss damage) – issues that are critical for developing countries generally and Africa especially – were not given the same treatment.
It is added that the Global Goal on Adaptation remains unagreed and undelivered, a loss and damage finance facility was kicked to multi-year dialogues intended to further delay progress, and the climate finance commitment of $100 billion annually remained woefully unfulfilled.
It is said that by COP27, concrete and actionable steps must be agreed upon and taken, such that developing countries will be better supported in adaptation and loss and damage measures and achieving their sustainable development and poverty eradication priorities.
Priorities for COP27 and beyond
It is also said that as the build up to an African COP in Sharm El Sheikh, they want to see a bold new vision for Africa supported by the AGN.
One that puts climate impacts first, secures real commitments and puts energy access and just transition at the heart of the mitigation discussion.
It is added that as Civil Society, they would like to see the following priorities reflected climate Impacts,climate finance, just Energy transition to 100% renewable energy,rejection of false solutions.
On Adaptation, it is said that COP27 should be seen as the “Adaptation COP” – the COP that will deliver agreement on an elaborated outline of elements with respect to the scope, definition, progress review, communication, and reporting on the global goal on adaptation.
It is sais that the elaborated outline of elements needs to be developed in the course of 2022 for adoption at COP27, and subsequently fleshed out and provided with more detail through negotiations taking place in 2023, with a decision on the global goal on adaptation to be adopted at COP28.
On Loss and Damage, its is said that they need to secure a loss and damage finance facility in Egypt. It is added that Africa and vulnerable countries across the world cannot be made to wait for multi-year dialogues when the needs are so urgent and so clear.
We call on the AGN to make this the COP that delivers for vulnerable countries on climate impacts.
It is also said that COP27 should result in a clear call to developed countries to not only scale up annual financing in the period 2022-2026, with a minimum of US$ 100bn per year, but to go beyond that $100bn figure given that the true needs for mitigation, adaptation, and loss and damage are far greater. Furthermore, we must secure an accelerated implementation of the Climate Finance Delivery Plan.
The AGN has also be called upon to put the climate finance needs front and centre in the African COP narrative and priorities.
Just Energy Transition to 100% Renewable Energy
It is also said that Africa is responsible for only 0.5% of historical emissions and less than 4% of current emissions. But with double digit growth in many African economies and the population set to double to 2 billion by 2040, the development choices Africa makes now will be decisive in the world’s fight to keep to 1.5°C.
As such, mitigation discussions cannot be limited to reduction of existing emissions, but must be expanded to include the massive potential to avoid future emissions with a just transition to 100% renewable energy.
We call on the AGN to shift the mitigation discussion and demand additional, adequate and appropriate financing and technology for developing countries to support their economic diversification and energy transition through carefully thought-out transition plans, appropriate to national circumstances and in a manner that delivers on the development objectives of addressing poverty and inequality.
Rejection of False Solutions
CAN Africa and CAN Arab World say that they are incredibly distressed by the recent proposals to make Africa the home of geoengineering technologies.
It is said that not only do these technologies seek to further entrench the status quo and delay a systemic decarbonisation, they will lock in catastrophic damages to the climate and broader ecosystem.
It is added that those seeking to make Africa the guinea pig for the world’s dangerous experiments must be rejected in no uncertain terms.
We call on the AGN to reaffirm the Convention on Biodiversity’s moratorium on geoengineering technologies and endorse the Non-Use Agreement which has been called for by scientists all over the world.
It is added that as representatives of hundreds of civil society organisations from across Africa and the Arab World, they call on them to represent the needs of the people in the upcoming COP and the months preceding it.
They also say that they are counting on them to ensure that Africa not only secures wins for its own people, but moreover becomes a leader that delivers for vulnerable people and communities the world over.
The letter has been signed on behalf of the networks by Dr Sixbert Mwanga,Acting Director Climate Action Network Africa Fatima Ahouli, Regional Coordinator, Climate Action Network Arab World.
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